The King Wears a Tie

By Mash Bonigala (497)

The emperor may wear no clothes, but the king wears a tie… the King of Beers, that is. Budweiser is changing up their classic can design and adopting a sleeker, more modern brand. The main image on this new packaging design is not a crown, but a formal bow tie.

There is a reason Budweiser is called the King of Beers, marketing slogans aside. The company began brewing in 1876 and is now one of the most popular beers in America. The company that owns Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch, has a market share that is almost half of the American beer market.

However, there are problems with the beer’s brand as well. First, in modern times it is known by its nickname, Bud, more than its full name. This is a problem in the eyes of the Budweiser company. Second, it is now not so much the King of Beers as it is the over-priced city manager. More and more beer drinkers are choosing local beers and more interesting micro-brew choices. While Budweiser is not losing ground, it seems inevitable that the company will need to rebrand and re-build their image in order to keep their position as King of the Mountain.

The old can design did nothing to build the brand. It was busy and crowded, with more information than a consumer cares to see and no sense of branding. It simply feels working class, which is not the image that Budweiser is trying to build.

The new packaging includes a can design that is much more appropriate for the modern Budweiser brand. First, the bow tie is inherently classy. It also is placed with the full brand name, the brand’s attempt to encourage their fans to call their favorite beer Budweiser. Second, there is far less detail. The Anheuser-Busch medallion, the crown and other elements of the brand are still part of the packaging, but they are moved around to create a more streamlined feeling. The cleaner brand reflects well on the quality of the products.

In most rebranding processes, elements of the former brand are kept to create a feeling of continuity. In this case, the cursive font in which the name is written, the crown image and the distinctive red and white color scheme have been maintained. This will help the new packaging and logo design to be recognizable to existing fans of the brand.

Sometimes there are elements of design that are truly inspired. The pop tab on the top of the new Budweiser cans is one of these. The tab is bright red, helping the can to stand out amongst others, and includes the distinctive Budweiser crown. This helps to build the brand even further.

If there are any elements of your brand, your logo design or your public image that need modified, rebranding may be the answer. As the Budweiser packaging example shows, it is possible to rebrand without losing aspects of your brand that are still resonating with your audience.